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Trump has been proclaiming since the day he took office that the market has been the best in the history of the country during his presidency. Looking at the facts, that is just not true.

For every president since we have market indicators, with very few variations,  the latest president had the highest stock market numbers. But looking at relative gains from inauguration day forward for Obama and Trump, we see a different picture.

Obama entered his presidency at the tail end of a market crash of epic proportions. The economy was in free fall at the end of Bush’s term in 2008. The chart below shows the S&P 500 index for Obama in blue and Trump in red, aligned on the left side to the inauguration date.

We can see how the free fall continued for Obama for another few weeks and then the graph started going up steeply and steadily for the next year, before it dipped again.

Trump’s index also rose steadily for about a year and a quarter, before its first dip. Trump’s slope is actually more modest than Obama’s was, and Trump’s S&P gains never went over 50%, while Obama’s were beyond 80% at about 1,000 days.

S&P percentage performance from Inauguration Day, Trump vs. Obama [click to enlarge]

I often hear complaints from the right about how the economy suffered under Obama. It really didn’t. There were several things that were bothersome: The recovery took a long time, probably due to significant regulatory burden. Unemployment improved throughout all 8 years of Obama’s presidency. While the recovery was slower than we would have liked, I would not exactly call this “suffering” and I for one never minded paying more for gas in exchange of cleaner air and water.

Trump’s stock market rose steadily too over the first 3 years, but then, unfortunately tumbled back to the beginning. It has recovered since, but there is no telling where it is going to go next.

I would certainly not make any predictions right now.

Every morning when I get up I look up into the clouds to check if there are any giant alien spaceships floating above our cities ready to laser-beam us to annihilation. I would not be surprised to see those in the second half of 2020.

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It will come early: ‘Fox News is now projecting Joseph R. Biden is the President-Elect of the United States’ The American people are going to throw you out of office. You will be repudiated and disgraced. You’ll leave nothing behind but the stench of epic failure. No American has ever failed this country worse than you. None. Your incompetence, ignorance, ineptitude, and old fashioned stupidity have caused the economic collapse and made the U.S. the epicenter of coronavirus death and suffering. You have shattered American alliances and weakened our military. You are a disgrace. Your name will be a synonym for losing, failure, and weakness. Biden is crushing you, and you want to know why? It’s because he is a good man and you are a bad one. He cares about the American people and you do not. He is respected on the world stage and you are laughed at like some type of grotesque and buffoonish clown. He is capable and you are not. You attack because you are scared. Take a minute to look at the picture of Fred Trump on your desk. Do you think he would be surprised by your failures? He would not. He bailed you out over and over again. He bailed you out because you couldn’t cut it as anything other than a con man. There will be no monuments and no encomiums for you. The whole country has watched you fail. The whole country is watching your increasingly feeble state. The whole country is watching you lose. We will all watch you return to your golf clubs as the biggest loser the American presidency has ever produced.”

– Steve Schmidt: former Republican strategist

Steve Schmidt is one of my favorite Republicans, albeit a “former” one now.

There is only one extremely important bad decision that Steve made back in 2008 that had profound impact on the American political system and truly shaped the world we live in. Remember he was McCain’s campaign manager.

He helped pick (and consented to choosing) Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

If he had not picked Palin, I believe McCain would have won the 2008 election. I would have voted for him, and so would have many others. McCain would have been president, presumably for two terms. We would have had eight years of solid conservative leadership under McCain and dignity in the office of the presidency. Obama, still very young at the time, would have risen, and been elected in 2016. We’d now be in the first Obama term. He would be running for reelection right now. The “tea party” movement of 2009 would not have happened. Trump and all that he stands for would never have risen.

Our world now is a truly different world from that, fashioned by Steve Schmidt’s direct contribution.

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Hannity asked Trump what his priorities for a second term were.

Here is Trump’s answer:

Well, one of the things that will be really great — you know, the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience, I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s a very important meaning. I never did this before. I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times, all of a sudden, I’m president of the United States. You know the story, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady and I say, this is great. But I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now, I know everybody and I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes like, you know, an idiot like Bolton. All he wanted to do was drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.

Word salad.

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Probably not the best idea Trump has ever had, calling the United States Secret Service the S.S.

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Today, Trump retweeted that “the only good Democrat is a dead one.”

Trump changed party affiliations six times in 33 years. He was a Republican for 20 years of that period, an independent for 3 years, and a Democrat for 8 years:

In 1987, Trump registered as a Republican in Manhattan.

In 1999, Trump changed is affiliation to the Independence Party of New York.

In 2001, he became a Democrat.

In 2009, he became a Republican.

In 2011, he changed again to “no party affiliation.”

In 2012, he returned to the Republican Party.

 

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The full transcript of the excerpt below is available at Whitehouse.gov for your review.

THE PRESIDENT: But when you do 14 million tests, you’re going to find more cases. If instead of 14 million tests we did 3 million — like, Germany is at about 3 million; South Korea is at 3 million, and they’ve done a very good job. It’s not a knock, but we’re at almost 14 million. We’re going to be passing 14 million very soon.

So you’re going to have more tests. If we do 3 million, everyone would say, “Oh, we’re doing great,” you know, in terms of cases. We’re going to have more cases. If we did 3 million — maybe that’s what we should’ve done. I said — if I would’ve done 3 million, they’d say, “Oh, they have very few cases. United States is doing well.”

We’re finding a lot of people. By doing testing, you’re finding people. So we’re doing 14, Germany is doing 3, South Korea doing 3, and I think they’re number two and three. So we’re way ahead of everybody. But when you do that, you have more cases. So a lot of times, the fake news media will say, “You know, there are a lot of cases in the United States.” Well, if we didn’t do testing at a level that nobody has ever dreamt possible, you wouldn’t have very many cases.

So we’re finding a lot of cases, and we’re doing a great job once we find them.

Okay, thank you very much.

Q (Inaudible) follow up. How does it compare to a per capita basis? Obviously, the United States is much larger than a lot of these Europeans countries.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q How does our testing compare per capita —

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q — to those nations?

THE PRESIDENT: You want to do that, Deborah?

DR. BIRX: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Per capita.

DR. BIRX: Yeah, our — you know, our testing now, we’re almost up to 4 percent. So some of the state — some of the European countries are at 4 to 5 percent. And I think our goal is to ensure that we can find the asymptomatics. And I think that’s really our focus right now, working with every state to really help them identify where these clusters came from historically, and then proactively going for those clusters, identifying them early, and finding the asymptomatic individuals before. And no one is intending to spread the virus. I always want to be very clear about that. Asymptomatic patient — people don’t know they’re infected. And so, together, we’re really working to find them.

And I think it’s a — it’s a unique challenge, and I think together we’re really making progress.

THE PRESIDENT: And, you know, when you say “per capita,” there’s many per capitas. It’s, like, per capita relative to what? But you can look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis, too. They’ve done a great job.

 

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A Very Small Man

Trump and Obama at Trump’s inauguration in 2017

Trump is refusing to unveil the Obama portrait at the White House, a ceremony that has been tradition for over 40 years.

This shows me how obsessed Trump is with Obama, and how small a man he is.

Actions like these destroy my estimation of a character. Not that I had a lot of respect for Trump, even before the election. You can search this blog by the keyword “why I can’t vote” and you find over 25 posts to that effect. But I must say that my estimation of the character of Trump has sunken with every day, every action, and every gesture.

This is not how a president acts.

This is how a very small man acts.

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“They are warriors aren’t they, when you see them going into those hospitals and they’re putting the stuff that you deliver, but they’re wrapping themselves, and the doors are opening, and they’re going through the doors, and they’re not even ready to go through those doors, they probably shouldn’t, but they can’t get there fast enough, and they’re running into death just like soldiers run into bullets in a true sense, I see that with the doctors and the nurses and so many of the people that go into those hospitals, it’s incredible to see, it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

— Donald Trump, May 15, 2020

 

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Biden/Obama were a disaster in handling the H1N1 Swine Flu. Polling at the time showed disastrous approval numbers. 17,000 people died unnecessarily and through incompetence! Also, don’t forget their 4 Billion Dollar Obamacare website that should have cost close to nothing!

— Donald Trump

Hmmm.

I am wondering why the president is busying himself with stuff that happened 11 years ago. Does any of this matter today? Does it make excuses for his own incompetence when others, more than a decade before him, were also supposedly incompetent?

I might even buy it, if his facts were correct. However:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12,469 people died in the United States from the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, not 17,000.
  • Obama’s approval rating also wasn’t disastrous. A poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News over the course of several months in 2009 showed that Obama’s approval rating for his handling of the H1N1 pandemic ranged from the high 60s to the high 50s. I wonder why Trump is brining up approval ratings? If my loved ones are dying alone in an ICU, I really could care less about Trump’s approval ratings, or, for that matter, Obama’s in 2009.
  • The “Obamacare” website cost much less than $5 billion.

I wish the president got a grip and realized what people need now in a leader:

  • Calmness
  • Honesty
  • Empathy
  • Support
  • Relentless work toward mobilizing government resources to help the people
  • Guidance based on truth and science
  • Unifying and encouraging language

I see none of this in Trump. He seems to be busy fomenting division and blaming others.

How is that helping?

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This is a very brilliant enemy. You know, it’s a brilliant enemy. They develop drugs like the antibiotics. You see it. Antibiotics used to solve every problem. Now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can’t keep up with it.

And they’re constantly trying to come up with a new – people go to a hospital and they catch – they go for a heart operation – that’s no problem, but they end up dying from – from problems. You know the problems I’m talking about. There’s a whole genius to it.”
— Donald Trump, April 11, 2020
This seriously scares me. The man so many people look up to for guidance and leadership does obviously not understand the difference between a bacterial infection and a virus. But he is holding press conferences spouting drivel like the above.
Could somebody please do something about this!

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Trump is Now a Bystander

Here is a very insightful article by Peter Wehner in The Atlantic, titled:

The Trump Presidency is Over

It shows how the nation has started discounting the federal leadership and taken matters into its own hands. Seeing Trump speak now, every time, I can read it in his eyes. He knows it. Everyone does.

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Trump looked sick. Not well. Nervous. He did not sound like a leader we should trust and follow.

Announcing cessation of trade with Europe was a mistake. He didn’t mean that.

Exempting the U.K. from the travel restriction with Europe makes no sense. There are more cases of infection in the U.K. than in many EU nations.

With more than 7,000 infections in the U.S., a travel restriction with Europe makes no more sense. Europe is not our problem. It is now our own infrastructure.

While deaths are still low, if they increase like in Iran, Italy and South Korea, they will overwhelm our hospital capacity. Trump didn’t even talk about that. A huge omission.

Trump didn’t talk about social distancing. A huge omission.

Trump didn’t talk about tests and testing capacity. This is now more important than anything.

This morning, the DOW is down another 2000 points since yesterday. It’s getting close to the level it was when Trump first took office. Obviously, the market didn’t believe Trump last night and he didn’t invoke the world’s confidence.

Trump’s juvenile tweets and schoolyard name calling tactics may work against political opponents, but a pandemic could not care less. It moves forward based on scientific reality, not wishful presidential thinking and propaganda.

Trump’s address was a lost opportunity and therefore an epic fail.

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Check out how Trump interrupts Azar and puts in his own comments. I really wonder what the people standing with him there are really thinking.

Our president has a natural ability for medicine, as we hear in the second video.

All of us should feel very comfortable now about our government’s ability to handle a potential pandemic crisis, since, as we just heard the president say: “The tests are beautiful.”

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